Publication analysis

About the publication

Title: Salon



Purpose, objective, or mission: “Salon covers breaking news, politics, entertainment, culture, and technology through investigative reporting, commentary, criticism, and provocative personal essays. Our articles and original videos bring a variety of voices to the discussion and make the conversation smarter.”1

Target audience: Readers interested in thought-provoking coverage of politics and current events.

Publisher: LLC. According to the Salon website: “Salon was formerly a publicly-traded company under the name ‘Salon Media Group (SLNM)’. In August 2019, the brand was taken private with the goal of creating a long-term sustainable company in the online news space.”2

Peer reviewed? No.3

Type: Civilian news publication.

Medium: Online.4

Content: Investigative reporting, commentary, criticism, and personal essays.5

Frequency of publication: Content is published daily.

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of contributions accepted: Salon accepts article submissions and letters to the editor. Any newsworthy or opinion pieces are welcomed; however, fiction and poetry are not accepted.6 NOTE: As of September 2020, Salon’s Life Story section¬†is currently CLOSED to submissions.

Submission and review process: Articles and queries should be submitted to the appropriate editor via email with the words “Editorial Submission” in the subject line. Prospective authors should include information about their background as a writer and qualifications for writing a particular story. The review process is expected to last about three weeks, with no response after that period meaning that the editors are likely not interested in using the piece.7

Editorial tone: Although suggestions of tone are not indicated, the submission guidelines suggest that prospective authors consider the articles available on the site prior to emailing their submissions.8 From reviewing the content on the website, it can be assumed that the editors are looking for pieces written in a journalistic tone, with innovative ideas and fresh writing styles.

Style guide used: A specific style guide is not noted.

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

Salon provides an opportunity for LIS writers to discover a new audience in the lay community. Because this publication does not publish on many library or information science-related topics, an author with a strong story idea that can be angled to appeal to the general population may find that his or her idea is welcomed here. This website may be a good platform for discussing LIS issues that may have been “overdone” or “old news” in other library publications; here they can be written with a fresh scope because there is a different audience in mind.

Two sections of the website that may be suited to potential LIS authors are the Economy & Innovation and Culture sections, respectively. Authors could easily write about economic topics such as library funding, especially in the context of the pandemic. Interesting topics relating to innovation may be electronic advancements being offered by libraries, such as digital reference, e-books, home access to electronic databases, and virtual storytimes or programs. An example of an article in the Culture section regarding reading is the “Comfort reading for the pandemic age” article which talks about reading as a form of comfort in the pandemic. Political issues involving libraries would be a welcome topic as well.


Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: According to their media kit, there are 9.2 million unique visitors to the site each month.9

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: The website can be accessed worldwide, though the content is generally US centered. Because most Salon readers come from the United States, language and cultural considerations are not as vital here as they may be in more international publications. However, as it is read by individuals from many different localities throughout the United States, it is important to consider that local issues or library-specific concerns may not be understood.

Reader characteristics: According to their media kit, readers are 60% male and 40% female, with a median age of 36 years old and an average household income of $92,000. Most readers have earned at least a college degree and are “affluent, well-educated, and highly influential.”10¬† Salon covers politics, the arts, and culture with a liberal bent.

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Because this is a lay publication, most of the readers are probably not familiar with library jargon. It is not even safe to assume that readers are library users or that they would be particularly interested in library issues. Though they may not be knowledgeable of LIS terms or specifics, they are an educated group and therefore it could be assumed that they are comfortable using the Internet and at least doing basic research.

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

By studying Salon reader demographics, it is safe to say that this audience is knowledgeable, opinionated, and educated. This publication presents authors with the challenge of producing pieces that will inform the audience about library issues or share educated opinions about changes in the technological world and how these affect information science. Because the audience most likely already has an appreciation for and a knowledge of books, LIS authors may have a head start in getting a lay audience to care about libraries and what they represent.

Last updated: Septemeber 28, 2020


Show 10 footnotes

  1. “About,”, accessed September 28, 2020,
  2. About Salon Media Group.”
  3. “Submissions,”, accessed November 1, 2016,
  4. “Ways to get Salon,”, accessed November 1, 2016,
  5. About Salon Media Group.”
  6. Submissions.”
  7. Submissions.”
  8. Submissions.”
  9. “Salon Media Kit 2014,”, accessed November 1, 2016,
  10. Salon Media Kit 2014.”
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